The use of sulfonamide drugs for the prevention of streptococcic infections and rheumatic fever has been employed by several groups of workers,1 with generally favorable results. In 1943 Watson and his associates2 used sulfadiazine to interrupt the course of a scarlet fever epidemic in a small naval activity in New York.
In 1943, faced with disturbingly high morbidity rates from streptococcic infections in several naval recruit training centers, a program of chemoprophylaxis was instituted on a scale much larger than that previously employed. The experience during the first six months of that program was highly gratifying.3 In general there was a reduction in the incidence of streptococcic infections to approximately 15 per cent of the expected rate, as shown in control groups which did not receive the drug.
However, during the following season, the fall and winter of 1944-1945, chemoprophylaxis failed in a number of instances. The
DAMROSCH DS. CHEMOPROPHYLAXIS AND SULFONAMIDE RESISTANT STREPTOCOCCI. JAMA. 1946;130(3):124–128. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870030004002